Category Archives: SEO

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Website Maintenance: 6 Things You Need to Do on a Regular Basis

So you’ve built yourself a website. Now you just have to sit back and let it work its magic – right? Not quite.

Websites are in need of constant monitoring, nurturing and development. Basically, your site is the equivalent of a technological child. To set that kid up for success, give it the love and attention it deserves.

Why is website maintenance so important? In order to keep your audience engaged with your site, you have to go far beyond the initial build to make it happen. Here are some of the most important maintenance essentials your business website needs.

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Search engine optimization is vital to the success of your website, and to being found on the internet by your target audience.

Benefits of SEO:

  • Help you rank higher on search results
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Boost your credibility on the web
  • Long-term results

In order to be found, your SEO game has to be strong. The algorithms search engines use to rank websites are continually changing and evolving to better serve the consumer. Regularly and actively staying on top of these search engine updates, and adjusting your SEO strategy accordingly, is the best way to nurture your website for long-term, sustainable growth.

Related: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve your SEO

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Best practices for enhanced user experience are continually changing in our fast-paced technological world, making it one of the most important factors to consider for website upkeep.

Top user experience priorities:

  • Ease of use
  • Fast load time
  • Seamless functionality
  • Responsive design

When users come to your site, you want the experience to be easy, interactive and seamless. Can they find information without hunting for it? Are there visuals that make the site dynamic and interesting? Do pages load quickly? All of these factors need to be considered from a user’s point of view to ensure a positive experience.

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There are several online security threats that can leave your website with unexpected and costly downtime.

Security threats to watch for:

  • Data breaches
  • Ransomware
  • Malware
  • DDoS

As technology evolves and develops, unfortunately so do these types of malicious threats. Routine system updates and consistent monitoring can help prevent attacks by finding potential holes in the security of your site.

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Daily site backups are also an extremely important part of website maintenance. In the event of a crash, when you have recent backups of your site you are able to restore it as soon as possible with all of your content, forms and important information, and any changes you’ve made over time intact.

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Consistently monitoring your website analytics is an important part of website maintenance.

A few things website analytics show you are:

  • How people are interacting with your website
  • Referrals and traffic sources
  • Top visited pages and blogs
  • Results on paid campaign efforts

In order to better serve your audience, it’s vital to monitor your analytics to see how your site is being used and where you may have room for improvement. Demographics, referrals, most viewed content, mapping out a user’s visit to see what pages they interact with – these are all basic user experiences you can look at and use to improve your site.

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Content helps to create customers and, when done right, helps to make sure your website stays ahead of the competition.

Quality content on your site helps to:

  • Improve SEO results
  • Position your site as a valuable resource
  • Convert prospects into customers

Quality content is the driving force behind good SEO and how Google determines if your website is a valuable resource for users. This makes creating fresh content essential to the long-term health of your website. When visitors come to your site, make sure their questions are answered quickly and succinctly to help position your business as a go-to resource.

In order to keep your website working for you in the long run, regular maintenance is essential to your business. Need help navigating the vast world of website upkeep and improvement? Find a team of professionals to have your back.

At Stray Media Group, we offer website maintenance, hosting and SEO plans that fit your needs and marketing budget. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you improve your website today.

SEO tips for your website

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve your SEO

It’s essential. It’s complex. It can be overwhelming. A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy has a lot of moving parts, but the most important thing is to just get started.

Here are 5 things you can do right now on your website to improve your SEO.

 

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Speed It Up

Upload times are a big factor. When your website loads slowly, you miss out on conversions. Even having a one- or two-second delay can cost you a chunk of page views.

Remove or optimize large file size items to boost up your load time, and get your developer in the boat with some more in-depth changes.

 

Structure your URLs 

Give your URLs titles specific to the content on the page. Having a random series of characters does nothing for your SEO, isn’t memorable and looks less clean.

Rather than default to “www.yourwebsite.com/p=1&,” put yourself in an SEO state of mind and opt for something like “www.website.com/SEOtips”.

 

Image Name Game 

Make your photo titles, descriptions and alt tags reflect what content is presented on the page to help boost your results. Renaming the file name itself with keywords from your page will help here, too.

 

 

Create Great Content 

All of your SEO efforts are wasted if you don’t start and end with great content. Writing relevant, rich content that resonates with your audience is one of the most important pieces of SEO.

 

Update Often

Your website should be updated frequently to improve your results. It’s not a “set it and forget it” type of marketing tool. Sites like Wikipedia are always ranked so high because they are constantly updating their material. Take a page from their book and keep your content fresh with regular updates.

 

 

Although these 5 tips only begin to scratch the surface, they are things you can do now to get started on improving your SEO. SEO is a long-term commitment – be patient and persistent, and you will see results.

Ready to dive in deeper? There are resources available to you that offer a more in-depth look at your website, so you can discover SEO opportunities and implement them. Learn how our team of experts at Stray Media Group can help.

 

SEO – The Old, the New, and the Valuable

With any industry, career, practice, or process, as time goes on and improved methods of approach are developed, best practices change and advance for the better. The marketing industry is no exception, and its practices for top-rated search engine optimization (SEO) are no different.

Old School Mentality

At the beginning of its establishment, the internet housed websites that would use vast amounts of keywords for SEO to improve their search result rankings in order to show up in front of customers. These included all variations of anticipated search terms one might use to look up information on products, services, and the company as a whole.

Over time search engines, such as Google, have improved their algorithms so they don’t rely solely on these keywords, but rather focus on providing results that are best for the user and feature high-quality, valuable content that helps to inform, answer questions, or supply solutions to problems.

 

New School Thinking

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These more up-to-date methods used to provide search results are one of the many indicators that the phrase “content is king” rings true. A recent article from Moz gives great examples of this by showing results that populate on Google when looking for a product, such as its outcome when searching for ‘best headphones.’ As you can see in the article, not one link on the first page of results is a product page; instead, the top-rated links all feature content that is more valuable to the consumer, including reviews, comparisons, information on pricing, and more.

Consumers today are more informed than ever before, and they have exponential amounts of information available to them at the click of a button. Search engines understand the importance of providing the people with what they want and have immense analytical data to figure out which pieces of content do just that.

From headphones and kitchen appliances to car maintenance and housecleaning services, consumers deserve to have the information best suited to their needs front and center so they have the ability to make an informed decision when purchasing or utilizing a product or service.

 

How to School the Competition

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While older SEO methods are less vital than they have been in the past, they’re definitely not dead, and they still work to improve a site’s overall rankings. However, the heart of search results is shifting to put more weight on user-focused results that consumers crave. What is the best way to successfully accommodate this shift and stay in the forefront of consumers’ minds? Besides the option of paying for search results, creating valuable content that speaks to customers’ needs is key. Providing useful information that your audience is looking for will help get you ahead of the competition in the eyes of your customers.

Content got your tongue? Contact us to see how we can help you create content that is aligned with your brand and addresses the needs of your customers.

3 Need-To-Knows About Google’s Latest Update

Technology is continuously advancing at lightning speed, and the latest Google mobile-friendly algorithm update is no exception. Tagged with a variety of dramatic names, including mobilegeddon and mobilepocolypse, this change focuses heavily on using a site’s mobile-friendliness to determine its search ranking. The update went into effect late April and was said to “affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and … have a significant impact in our search results,” according to the Google Webmaster Central blog.

So what now? We’ve put together some key points addressing what this means to your business and how you can stay ahead of the game when it comes to optimizing your site for mobile users.

“How will this affect my business?”

Essentially, if your site is not mobile-friendly, your rank in Google’s search results will suffer. In fact, only one week after the initial rollout, many webmasters had seen some notable changes but have yet to see any radical differences in results and analytics. However, as with any major update, the full effects of the newly renovated algorithm can take weeks to be felt, and therefore should not be cast aside as insignificant.

“Why should I care?”

If you’re asking yourself “Why should I care? The majority of my customers won’t search for me on mobile devices anyway,” we’d strongly advise you to think again and look at the research to see why mobile-optimization can no longer be ignored. Not only is Google in the number one spot for mobile and tablet search engine market share, with a whopping 92.71%, but mobile usage itself is skyrocketing, with estimates of up to 60% of searches online coming from mobile devices.

In addition to adhering to Google’s latest requirements to make sure your site is easy to find on the search engine, mobile-friendliness is also extremely vital in establishing, building and retaining customer relationships. Consumers these days are easily frustrated by sites they visit on their smartphones that have small, unreadable text and links that they have to zoom in on or strain to see. Making your site as user-friendly as possible across all devices is one sure way to provide visitors with a positive experience that will keep them coming back for more.

“How can I make the most of it?”

As the saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Make the most of this recent update by changing it from a thorn in your side to an opportunity to make your website the best it can be for your customers. We promise they will thank you in the end. First things first; utilize Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your pages stand up to the revamped algorithm. This will give you an idea of what your site may or may not need to stay ahead of the curve with the recent update. Next, make a game plan for how you’re going to take action on updating your site, noting what tasks you need to call on experts for and what you may be able to handle on your own.

Whether you recognize the importance of optimizing your site for mobile users or this information is all news to you, our team at Stray Media Group can help you navigate the choppy waters of the ever-changing web. To learn more about what we can do for you and your business, contact us today.

SEO & SEM 101

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) have been, and still are, two BIG terms in the world of digital marketing. Knowing more about SEO and SEM, and integrating the two into your marketing strategy, will bring your business substantial results.

The purpose of both SEO and SEM is pretty simple; they help increase or “optimize” your online presence and bring more users to your website or social media page.

SEO is optimizing your website through key words to gain natural search engine results or “listings” on Google, Yahoo, etc. SEO promotes organic, or unpaid, search results. If SEO is done right, you will have a big competitive advantage in the digital space.

For instance, let’s say you are a women’s clothing retailer in Grand Forks, North Dakota. To boost your SEO results, you would sprinkle your website with key words like “fashion,” “Grand Forks,” and “luxurious clothing” because that is what a lot of people would search for to find you.

SEO is a part of SEM, which is paying search engines, like Google, to list you at the top of their search results when a user searches related words. For example, if you have a bakery in Fargo, North Dakota, you would pay Yahoo to list you at the top of their results when a user would search “bakeries in the Fargo area.”

With SEM, you will also use tools such as Google ADWords and other pay-per-click resources to help boost your standing in search results.

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SEO and SEM have many layers. It takes time, patience, and consistency to see big results. Whether you are a small mom-and-pop shop or a large online retailer, SEO and SEM are essential when you want to promote your business online.

Is this still a lot to take in? If you want to optimize your website but don’t know where to begin, SMG can lead you in the right direction with expert help in SEO and SEM.

 

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